Express Examiner 19 December 01
As the International Year of Volunteers draws to an end, I was pleased to have
the opportunity in Parliament to pay tribute to the valuable contributions made
by volunteers in our community. Acknowledgement of volunteer importance has been
the focus of many occasions held in their honour throughout the year. At
Christmas time, volunteers are called on to help those less fortunate.
Celebrating this special occasion can be a difficult time for some members of
our community and with the kind generosity of our local charities, this is made
a little more bearable. I commend and thank our volunteers for their work and
The debate has continued in Parliament on the Workers Compensation Legislation
Further Amendment Bill 2001. I have information on the amendments to the Bill
that the Coalition supported. We were disappointed that the Carr Government did
not support these changes to include access to common law for police, ambulance
officers and firefighters, provisions for privately underwriting the workers
compensation scheme, protecting commutation access for self-insurers and
implementing an IPART review of the legislation. Anyone wishing to receive this
information should contact my office.
$37,783 Regional Community Funding
I was very pleased with the announcement by Deputy Premier and Minister for
Planning, Dr Andrew Refshauge, that five rural communities in the electorate
benefited from the first round of funding in the Community Partnerships Grants
available under the Living Centres Program. The grants are designed to help with
projects such as attractive lively town centres and main streets, community
halls and cultural and recreational opportunities. The Councils and community
groups that are successful match allocations dollar for dollar. I was pleased
that Bonalbo Heritage Gardens received $7,600 to establish a public recreation
area and native garden at the entrance to the village.
Arts funding welcomed
The electorate received $373,450 awarded to practical, locally-initiated arts
projects that will greatly benefit the community. $75,000 was awarded to Kyogle
Council for the upgrading of Kyogle Memorial Hall for cinema, theatre and
performing arts use and $5,000 to the Casino folk Museum for the preservation of
its paper based collection. Grants such as these ensure that as many people as
possible benefit from a vibrant cultural life.
In conclusion, it has been an honour being your State representative in
Parliament this year. I wish everyone a safe, happy and holy Christmas.
May joy be your gift this Christmas, and Peace and Hope follow everyone into the
From Thomas and Rhonda George, together with staff Karen & Bronwyn